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A User's Guide To Qat, The Grossest Drug In The World

Who wants to look like an obese chipmunk with a mouth full of green, slobbery cancer? No wonder there's a movement afoot in Yemen to end this rather off-putting practice.

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4. Qat is best chewed fresh from the farm. Dried Qat isn't nearly as powerful. Vendors will sell Qat with peanuts or bubble gum to make chewing the raw leaves and stems more palatable.

5. Qat is widely regarded to taste terrible. It is always described as sour. Since it is an evergreen shrub, chewing Qat is frequently likened to chewing pine needles.

8. Qat is chewed by an estimated 10 million people every day, but mostly in Africa and the Middle East. Qat is illegal in most of the western world, including the United States.

12. Activists are concerned qat is stifling the potential of Yemen. Poor families spend half their yearly income on qat, the unemployed chew qat up to 8 hours a day and hospitals are filled with qat addicts suffering from cancer and infections.

14. Qat production also consumes most of Yemen's resources. An estimated 40% of Yemen's dwindling water supply goes to qat farming. As a result, the Yemeni capital of Sanaa is expected to be the first major city in the world to run out of water.

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